Malta Developers’ Association Head Sandro Chetcuti is the owner of land in Fomm Ir-Riħ who erected a gate blocking access to the gate.
Speaking to Malta Today, Chetcuti’s lawyer confirmed that he owned the estate, which includes a villa at the top of a slope.
They say that a January 2021 report from Din l-Art Helwa President Alex Torpiano had said the path was of ““a high risk for people navigating the passageway, particularly (but not only) with fading light conditions”.
Fomm ir-Riħ has been somewhat dangerous to visitors following a clay slop collapse in August 2020, which effectively covered a significant part of the bay.
However, Activists were still up in arms over the gate’s erection, with many raising concerns over the public’s access to the area.
“I went for my usual walk to check on the beach at Fomm ir-Riħ, Mgarr/Rabat and I was unable to assess the only road to the beach due to this gate. Why is it closed? Why are we unable to walk down to the beach? All walkers and trekkers who enjoy walking in the countryside are unable to now,” Raniero Borg wrote on social media.
The Planning Ministry has said the gate has since been removed pending a formal application from Chetcuti.
“The government is working to enter an arrangement with the owner to eventually give the public adequate access to the foreshore while respecting the right to private property,” a spokesperson said.
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